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PWC Weekend Roundup: Mid-Ohio

Catch up on the Pirelli World Challenge action from Mid-Ohio…

Photo: Brian Cleary/

Photo: Brian Cleary/

***It was a busy weekend for Pirelli World Challenge at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, following the announcement of the provisional 2017 calendar on Friday, along with proposed series format changes, including a greater emphasis on SprintX for next year.

***Further details on the 2017 PWC schedule and revised championship format are expected to be revealed in the next week. It’s believed the series will introduce titles for the overall champion, Sprint, and SprintX champions, in a similar format as seen in the Blancpain GT Series with the Endurance and Sprint Cups.

***The two GT races were won by Alvaro Parente and Michael Cooper for K-PAX Racing and Cadillac Racing respectively. They were sitting in first and third in the championship standings heading into Ohio, but after a poor weekend for second-placed Patrick Long, all could change with only six races remaining.

***It started out as a promising weekend for the three Flying Lizard Motorsports-run K-PAX Racing McLaren 650 GT3s, with pole taken by Austin Cindric, and a 1-2 finish in Race 1. However, Colin Thompson picked up damage in the first race, taking him off the grid for Race 2, while both Cindric and Parente lost time in the second race after incidents.

***However, in celebration of Parente’s Saturday win and Cindric’s pole position, the Flying Lizard merchandise store is offering 25 percent off all orders, using the discount code “P1.”

***The new Acura NSX was tested on track earlier in the weekend with Peter Kox at the wheel. A 2017 debut for the new car is expected, and RealTime Racing’s Peter Cunningham stepped down from his Acura TLX-GT this weekend.

***Spencer Pumpelly subbed in for Cunningham, and will continue to do so at the next round in Utah. “As I focus my energies on the NSX, we knew that we needed to find a top-notch driver for the TLX to bring Acura the best possible result,” explained Cunningham.

***Michael Schein and Alec Udell swept the weekend in GTA and GT Cup respectively. Udell took his ninth class win of the season. In comparison, Colin Thompson won 13 races in GT Cup last year.

***The only timed practice session was cancelled on Friday as a result of lightning in the nearby area. This sent the cars into Saturday’s Qualifying session with limited experience of the track, save for 80 minutes of untimed running on Thursday.

***Friday’s weather conditions also postponed the first GTS race, which will be added to the schedule at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in October. The other race was won by Lawson Aschenbach in Blackdog Speed Shop’s No. 10 Chevrolet Camaro.

***This weekend’s PWC action will be aired on CBS Sports Network, with the GTS races on Sunday, Aug. 7 at 4 p.m. ET, and GTS on Thursday, Aug. 11 at 10 p.m.

***The next PWC weekend will be a headline event at Utah Motorsports Campus on Aug. 12-14. The TC/TCA/TCB action will return for Rounds 9 and 10, as will SprintX for Rounds 3 and 4.

John Dagys contributed to this report

Jake Kilshaw is a UK-based journalist. He is a graduate of Politics and International Relations.

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